New Farm Park has to be the jewel in Brisbane's crown when it comes to park life. A bold statement, I agree, but it really has the whole deal.
Just getting to the park is a pleasure if you take the city cat. I challenge you to find a visitor to Brisbane who isn't impressed by such perfect public transport and after the floods I think the cats are a testament to Brisbane's resilience that they were up and running again so quickly.
Our other preferred method of transport to the park is to catch the cross river ferry and cycle. It's an easy cycle for a family with an L plater on two wheels and offers just the right distance to feel like you've exercised before you hit the inevitable whinging point. If you live a bit further afield, driving is also an easy option with parking widely available – unless you try to come on market day, of course.
The play area truly is one of the best I have seen – and I've seen quite a few parks in my time. The fig trees offer a magical landscape for kids of all ages to explore and roam the 'fort' that has been built under its shade. Bigger children venture on to climb the majestic old trees but littlies are quite thrilled enough stumbling over the hanging bridges and walkways.
There are plenty of activities to keep the children happy for hours here. My children love the spiderweb and will happily dangle from it whilst making new friends with "betcha can't do this!" banter. Since the flood the park has enjoyed renovation of many of its playthings and introduced giant dinosaur eggs to climb and sit on. There are also many more seats for parents to perch as well as some picnic tables to stop for a well-earned picnic.
If you do tire of the play area then there is plenty of open space to kick a ball, fly a kite, ride a bike or anything else you can think of. There are often bands playing and groups practising Tai Chi. I've also seen a group doing some kind of laughter therapy – at least that is what I assumed it was. It seems anything goes at New Farm Park and I suggest if you haven't been yet, then you get going there too.
Marks out of ten Play items: 9.5 Safety: 9.5 Woodchips aplenty – grubby but safe
Sun safety: 9 Plenty of natural shade from fig trees Water bubbler: 6 At least two but occasionally out of order
Toilets: 8 Plenty close by
Coffee access 6 There are kiosks and a café but often long waits
Parking: 10 Street /car park available but limited on market day
Agree, Bec, it's a great park - still one of our favourites after umpteen visits, and entertains the bigger kids just as well as the littlies. But alas, the coffee is not quite on tap, an important criteria as we know, but a minor quibble overall!
By Melanie Robey - reader Tuesday, 20th of September @ 01:03 pm
I'm hearing you, Mel! I didn't want to mark such a fabulous park down simply because of the coffee access but it really is worth thinking about byo rather than getting frustrated by waiting - unwittingly I've waited over 45mins before now!